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RTA asks parents in Dubai to stop school run
Authority says school buses are safe and efficient.
October 13, 2013 4:37 by Muhammad Aldalou
To ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai is urging parents to put a stop to school run and use school transportation.
The authority argues that school buses in the city “adhere to the highest safety standards” and that none of them have been involved in any major accidents in the past four years.
Currently, more than 130,000 students use school transportation on a daily basis.
Tariq Al Ghaith, RTA’s director of franchise and monitoring, says that the authority closely monitors school transportation to ensure that it offers a safe and secure environment for the students. All drivers and bus attendants are trained and approved through a special programme. He says that the authority has specialist inspectors who regularly monitor the performance of buses and drivers by conducting regular tests.
As many as 5,600 drivers and 3,400 bus attendants have been trained and approved by the RTA in the past four years.
Since then, the RTA has announced new regulations dictating that school buses transporting girl students – and boys who go to primary school – must have at least one female attendant.
Are parents (and others) convinced?
*Only first names used
“We’ve been using the school bus for seven years. No issues with driving, seat belts or bus assistants,” says Grace, mother of two.
She adds: “If buses are more affordable and the RTA ensures strict training of drivers for safety, more parents would use the bus.”
“The RTA should provide transportation for the kids. Some schools charge ridiculous fees for their bus services,” says Samer.
“I was a kid who always took the school bus. The most convenient means for me,” says Uzma.
“My colleague’s daughters got lost on a school bus at the beginning of the term. It took them four hours to get home. Awful,” says Krysia.
“Not a chance – excessive costs, unsafe drivers and buses with no/broken safety equipment. Not a hope in heck,” says Andy, father of two. He adds that quoted bus charges for an equivalent 10-minute journey is approximately AED2, 400 per child. This is per term for a one-way journey.
“It will only make sense when school bus fees make sense,” says Sam.
“Not a parent, but wouldn’t trust the drivers. Driving standard is very low and too many molestation stories,” says Daniel.
What stops you from using school buses in Dubai? Is it the safety, convenience or financial aspect? Tell us your thoughts.